San Francisco's under attack by a shaved vampyre cat name Chet and his gang of undead kitties—wait, what?
Our last hope rests in Abby Normal, resident Goth girl and "emergency backup mistress" of the Greater Bay Area—of course, had she not encased her vampiric mentors in bronze, we might have a little more faith in our self-appointed saviour. Jody and Tommy represent love in its grandest, most undying form, and Abby's determined to keep the two together for all eternity…even if it means casting them in bronze and keeping them in her front hall for the rest of time. Meanwhile, Abby and her brilliant Ph.D.-candidate boyfriend, Steve "Foo Dog" Wong (a.k.a. the love monkey), are racing the clock as blood-sucking cats prowl the streets and a clever cat named Chet gets bigger, stronger, and thirstier…
Along the way, Abby and Steve join forces with a colourful cast to take on San Francisco's four-legged threat—there's the Emperor of San Francisco and his trusted canine companions Lazarus and Bummer, Abby's gay Goth friend Jared (who also ruins her Skankenstein red vinyl thigh-highs, WTF), the city's finest undercover cops, Cavuto and Rivera, and a pot-smoking gang of Safeway shelf-stockers. But things get a li'l complicated after Jody and Tommy escape their bronze prison and set out to even the score with Abby.
'Kayso, I did mention this was a love story, right?
To start, Abby Normal's a fantastic character. Her paraphrasing abilities, her obsession with French, her colourful and creative insults, her insistence on slapping Steve when she kisses him (so he doesn't think she's a slut)—she asserts herself as a memorable character, and her journal entries add a remarkable level of quirk to Bite Me. Readers who like VampLit will get a satisfying kick to the genre with Christopher Moore's chaotic, campy, and hilarious style. He's got the same self-reflexive camp as Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series, except his dialogue's got an extra bite to it, and his characters are clever and full of sass (re: far more entertaining than Ms. Sookie Stackhouse).
Ideal for: VampLit fans craving a swift kick to the genre; Anti-hero fanatics and readers who like unpredictable lady leads; Folks fascinated by the concept of vampiric cats....more
Joshua Joseph Spork vowed to live a quiet life. As the son of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, Joe spent his youthFull review posted on Across the Litoverse
Joshua Joseph Spork vowed to live a quiet life. As the son of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, Joe spent his youth among the glamorous, self-made thieves of the Night Market and learned of London's mobster scene from the Dandy of Hoosegow himself. In the wake of his father's death, Joe renounced his title as the heir of crime and followed his grandfather, Daniel, into the honourable world of clockwork repair. Of course, Joe's business suffers under its anachronistic leanings, and he struggles to earn a living with his antique clocks and mechanical curios.
When Joe's mischievous pal, Billy Friend, offers him a glimpse of a clockwork "doodah", Joe takes the fate of the world into his very hands. His tinkering activates a contraption called the Angelmaker, a veritable doomsday machine commissioned by Shem Shem Tsien—the sadistic Opium Khan of Addeh Sikkim—and built by Frankie Fossoyeur, a Frenchwoman consumed by her own brilliance. With the clock running, Joe must call upon his thieving roots and put his street smarts to work in order to survive. At the same time, one woman named Edie Banister—a former British intelligence agent from the Second World War era—holds the well-guarded secret of the Angelmaker's origins, and only she knows how to stop the deadly clockwork swarm within…
Nick Harkaway captures a brilliantly gritty and violent world of organized crime, espionage, and government-sanctioned torture, while creating a vibrant cast of characters overflowing with amusing tics and cutting humour at every turn. He's got an excellent ear for dialogue as well, and he wields a dark, very British sense of humour in the most unlikely situations. I found I took an immediate shine to Joe Spork for his loveable, somewhat self-defeatist attitude at the start, and for his hesitant charm throughout.Readers are treated to a rare example of a coming-of-(middle)-age novel, which proves to be a delightful twist to a common generic convention.
Overall, Angelmaker proves an addictive read with a stinging sense of humour, and readers will find an eclectic blend of noir mystery, science fiction, and espionage action all in one shot.
Ideal for: Noir newcomers with a penchant for sci fi; Dark humorists craving the glitz and swank of London's underworld; Readers craving complex narrative puzzles within their looming-apocalypse books; Folks interested in coming-of-(middle)-age stories and their unpredictable outcomes....more
At twelve, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and was prepared to die. At fourFull review posted on Across the Litoverse
At twelve, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and was prepared to die. At fourteen, an aggressive, long-settled satellite colony of tumours was discovered in her lungs. As a last resort treatment, Hazel enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug called Phalanxifor—and now, she's living on borrowed time.
As the novel opens, sixteen-year-old Hazel's closest "friend" is An Imperial Affliction, a novel written by the reclusive author Peter Van Houten. She re-reads the novel because of Van Houten's complex portrayal of a young girl's struggle with cancer and his careful understanding of what it means to be dying and to not have died yet. Her parents decide to send Hazel to a church-based Cancer Kid Support Group in an effort to get their daughter engaged with the world again—and there, her life is re-written by a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters.
Brilliant book that did, in fact, make me feel all of the things. ALL of them. John Green offers a multi-facted view of Hazel and Augustus, and reminds readers that every one of us cannot be reduced to a single condition or social label or whatever the case may be. Green doesn't humanize a social or health issue here—instead, he shows us the complicated lives of three kids who learn to live despite their cancer. A subtle shift, no doubt, but a remarkable one to witness on paper.
As well, I love that John Green expects more of his readers than the standard YA author. While Green writes for teens, he never writes down to them. And, when it comes to the emotional spectrum and the honesty written into The Fault in Our Stars, Green proves his work needs to be read by teens and adults alike.
Ideal for: Nerdfighters (or Nerdfighters-in-training); Clever teens who need a lesson on real-life romance; Adult YA diehards who don't mind crying openly on the morning/evening commute; Readers looking to remember the transformative power of the written world; You, if you're reading this....more